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Engaging with the USA

RCUK Office in the US logoThe US is a research powerhouse; 40% of the total R&D spend in the world takes place in the US; it employs 70% of the world’s Nobel Prize winners, and is home to 75% of the world’s top 40 universities. Although the UK hosts 0.9% of the world’s population, it is second to only the US in the number of top 40 universities that it boasts. Also, the UK makes up for 15.9% of the world’s most highly-cited articles and 11.6% of research citations globally. When it comes to research, the UK has enjoyed an active and productive research relationship with the US for many years, and we remain partners of choice for collaborative activities.

RCUK USA will work to ensure that the UK maintains and develops its excellent record of partnership with the US. Our strategy for enhancing UK-US engagement is directly linked to RCUK priorities and can be summarised as:


Increase RCUK influence in UK-US international research strategy and policy development

Building on a shared commitment to maintaining a leadership position in research, we will continue to work together with our US partners to align existing priorities and identify complementary interests that offer mutual benefits.  We will further develop the close relationships we have established with US partners, and monitor the complex US research funding landscape for new opportunities.


Provide opportunities to enable excellent researchers to flourish through UK-US research collaborations

Drawing upon a wealth of approaches through broad practical experience developed with US partners, we will continue to identify and support UK-US collaboration through specific opportunities. We will also develop broad mechanisms, such as Lead Agency Agreements, that enable continued collaboration as efficiently as possible.


Enhance the value and impact of joint research through UK-US international collaboration

Working together, with our similar research systems and challenges, the US and UK can deliver greater impact from research.  We will support collaborative research that informs our shared national and global concerns by developing a strong evidence base.  This will improve our understanding of research and innovation ecosystems, routes from research into policy and practice, and innovative ways to enhance the impact of research on the societies and economies of both countries.


Show RCUK’s commitment to key global responsibilities in a world where challenges cross national boundaries

Research evidence underpins the development of policy with impact across national boundaries, such as food security and global health and wellbeing: challenges whose scope and scale mean they can be more effectively tackled in partnership.  The UK and the US are crucial actors both in research that addresses global challenges, and in policy-making that draws on this research evidence.  We will jointly identify and address key global challenges in a way that empowers research collaborators beyond our two countries.  In doing so we will make the most of our shared participation in multilateral research initiatives, maintaining and developing their importance to both countries and to the global research community.

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